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Archive for ‘Technology’

Digital Humanities Summer Institute

I’ve been attending classes this week at the University of Victoria’s DHSI. From the website:

The Digital Humanities Summer Institute provides an environment ideal to discuss, to learn about, and to advance skills in new computing technologies influencing the work of those in the Arts, Humanities and Library communities.

Perhaps the only institute of its kind, attendees come from all over the world (in my class there are people from Europe, the US, and Thailand as well as Canadians from all parts). We have grad students, professors and librarians.

To get an idea of the content, have a look . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Reading, Technology

Trade-Mark Owners Can Prevent Their Marks From Being Registered as Usernames on Facebook

I’m borrowing (or plagiarizing) this piece from my partner Mark Edward Davis

On Tuesday, June 9, 2009, Facebook, an extremely popular social networking website based in the United States, announced that beginning Saturday, June 13th at 12:01 a.m. EDT, users of the Facebook website will be allowed to create personalized URLs for their Facebook pages in the format ( Currently, a Facebook user’s webpages are identified by an id number. While this change allows users to personalize their URL, it also creates the potential for Facebook users to misappropriate a trade-mark as their username ( To prevent the unauthorized . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Digital Division

In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for an end to print textbooks in schools. Thanks to Josette McEachern for posting about this Quill & Quire article on the Edmonton Law Libraries Association blog. There are various spins to this attempt at budget efficiency activism.

A couple of items from the various articles caught my eye:

On average, California schools have just one computer for every four children — a situation that prompted Education Week to give the state a D-minus this year for its use of education technology compared with other states.

From Associated Press

‘A world of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training, Technology

Obiter2: Moteur De Recherche Google Ciblant La Doctrine Et L’information Juridique

Simon Fodden posted here last Fall about Obiter2, the wonderful Quebec-legal-research-focused website by lawyer Marco Rivard.

A colleague in Montreal pointed out to me yesterday that his site has since added a Custom Google search engine that targets Quebec/French civil law doctrine and legal information (Moteur de recherche Google ciblant la doctrine et l’information juridique).

For example, a search on “valeurs mobilieres” produced French language results here from a number of law firms and other organizations. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Put Yourself on a Billboard With Rasterbator

Rasterbator is a free tool that turns any image into a huge poster. While you can have fun with pictures of family, friends or your pets, or monsters in your living room window for Halloween, for work purposes you could also use this app create a sign or to blow-up a chart or graph.

Rasterbator gives you two ways to blow-up images: You can upload an image to the Rasterbator site or you can download a Rasterbator app to your computer.

Rasterbator gives you a blown-up image that you can print on multiple sheets of paper. Assemble these sheets in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

More on Twitter in the Courtroom

Are you sick of us talking about Twitter yet? It seems the possibilities are only just starting to be explored. Lawyers Weekly reporter Luigi Benetton recently interviewed a few of us (including Michael Geist and Darryl Cruz of McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto) for his article “Twitter in the courtroom: a fad, or here to stay?” (June 12, 2009 edition).

Some of the points discussed:

  • this area is evolving quickly
  • reporters “tweeting” from a trial is akin to reporters taking notes on behalf of the public
  • messages on Twitter (or “tweets”) may not adequately characterize the full shape
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Critical Update for Adobe Reader and Acrobat Versions 7-9 Coming June 9

From the Adobe Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) blog.

Adobe expects to deliver security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 7.x, 8.x, and 9.x for Windows and Macintosh on Tuesday, June 9. This is the first quarterly security update for Adobe Reader. Adobe considers this a critical update and recommends users be prepared to apply the update for their product installations. Details of where to download updates will be posted to Adobe’s Security Bulletins and Advisories support page on June 9. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Tweet Stops Here With Tony LaRusa

We’ve talked a little about litigation around domain names of famous people. But what about accounts on social media platforms?

Tony LaRusa, manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, is suing Twitter at the Superior Court of the State of California for a now inactive account that bore his name and likeness in LaRusa v. Twitter, Inc.

Although close scrutiny of the account does indicate it was not really LaRusa’s (citing parody), they did make off-the-cuff remarks like,

Lost 2 out of 3, but we made it out of Chicago without one drunk driving incident or dead pitcher.

LaRusa had apparently . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Google Squared Launches

The semantic web is coming, the semantic web is coming!

Simon Chester alerted us a while ago to Google Lab’s new project: Stub Posting on Google Squared. It has now launched: Simon C asked in his post what Slaw readers might make of this, and I’d like to repeat his question now that you can take it out for a spin and kick its tires. I can see how the basic organization into fundamental facets that shift depending on the nature of your search terms would be useful to school students; but I’m not sure whether it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology, Technology: Internet

Open Medicine Wiki

Open Medicine, the Canadian, open-access, peer-reviewed medical journal that launched two years ago as a consequence of some concerns about the independence of medical publishing, has pushed the boundaries yet again. They’ve placed a published article on a wiki and have invited readers to edit the piece in order to improve it. As their blog says simply:

This project explores the use of a wiki as an online collaborative tool for improving and updating peer-reviewed systematic reviews.

The article in question is “Asynchronous telehealth: a scoping review of analytic studies,” by Amol Deshpande, Shariq Khoja, Julio Lorca, Ann McKibbon, Carlos . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Technology

A Highway Code for Data Handling

There’s much practical advice in the British Computing Society and the Information Security Awareness Forum’s new publication Personal Data Guardianship Code released today.

If you don’t think there’s a need, a recent 2009 Data Breach Investigations Report from IT provider Verizon Business suggested that 285 million records were compromised in 2008.

Of course, the lawyers got to it: “This code is not intended to be legal advice and where the reader is unsure about any aspect of the Data Protection Act or other Acts and regulations they should seek legal advice or visit the Information Commissioner’s web site.”

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Microsoft’s Bing Goes Live

Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, went live last night. I haven’t had a chance to run any tests comparing it to Google, but a simple search or two suggests that it will likely produce comparable results.

I’m certainly pleased that it knows that a search for “slaw” should cause our site to rise to the top of the results pack:

If you hover your cursor over a search result, a graphic appears to the right, and hovering over that brings up a popup with text from a (recent? latest indexed?) sample page — but not necessarily, it would seem, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology